Yesterday, U.S. runner Keira D’Amato broke the women’s U.S. marathon record at the Houston Marathon, setting a new record of 2:19:12. This time is 24 seconds faster than the previous record, set by Deena Kastor at the 2006 London Marathon.
There’s a lot of questions today about the stunning race, but runners everywhere are mainly asking — who is Keira D’Amato, and what shoes was she wearing for her record-breaking run? Of course, records are about far more than just running shoes, but as many search for the best race day running shoes, knowing what the best of the best wear on race day is often a topic of conversation.
Who is Keira D’Amato?
Keira D’Amato’s road to the podium hasn’t been a simple one. The 37-year-old gave up competitive running after college following a string of injuries. During her hiatus from the sport, she got married, had two children, and became a real estate agent. Eight years later, she returned to running, telling Runner’s World in a 2021 interview that she still had some “unfinished business” to attend to.
Few comebacks are more impressive than this one, and despite missing out on the U.S. Olympic Team due to a hamstring injury, D’Amato finished fourth in last year’s Chicago Marathon, with a time of 2:28:22.
As she crossed the finish line in Houston on Sunday, D’Amato embraced her two boys, Tommy, aged 7, and Quin, aged 5. Talking to ABC Houston, D’Amato said, “It’s so special, to think that this dream was gone a decade ago. Somehow, I just believed.”
What running shoes was Keira D’Amato wearing?
D’Amato was running in the Nike Alphafly Next% running shoes — one of Nike’s most popular carbon fiber running shoes, and the same make as those Eliud Kipchoge opted for when he ran his 1:59 marathon in 2019. D’Amato is a Nike athlete and wore a yellow and orange pair of the $275 carbon fiber racing shoes.
When it comes to the best Nike running shoes, these aren’t built for everyone but they are by far one of Nike’s most exciting inventions. No, they don’t have two carbon fiber plates, just the one that varies in thickness depending on the size of the shoe, but the introduction of the two zoom air pods in the forefoot is incredibly exciting. These shoes feel like rockets on your feet and the AtomKnit upper is incredibly lightweight.
For most runners, the real decision lies between picking between the Alphafly Next% and the Vaporfly Next% 2. Not sure which is best for you? Our Alphafly Next% vs Nike Vaporfly Next% 2 face-off should help you decide.
According to D'Amato's Strava upload of her run, she was also recording her marathon using the Garmin Forerunner 945 running watch — one of the best running watches for endurance athletes thanks to its long battery life (not that D'Amato needed it!)
Inspired? Whether you’re hoping to run your first marathon or your fastest 5K in 2022, we’ve got all you need to succeed. Read more on how to run a marathon, the best running shoes to buy and the best running watches to track your training.